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Fire In New York City’s East Village Damages Historic Church

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Responders are working to extinguish a raging fire that erupted in New York City’s East Village early Saturday.

The 6-alarm fire began at approximately 5 a.m. on the first floor of a vacant five-story building, officials for the city’s fire department said, according to local outlet ABC7. The fire also spread to the Middle Collegiate Church, located behind the building where the fire began.

“Our units arrived in three minutes, very fast response time. Upon arrival we had heavy fire showing from the corner building on East 7th Street,” John Hodgens, the assistant chief for the FDNY, said according to the local outlet.

“We quickly transmitted additional alarms to get more help here. We knew this was going to be a big operation. Fire had extended into the church on 2nd Avenue and also into another building on 7th Street. We had all of our units in position and we were quickly able to contain it to that area.”

Over 100 firefighters have responded to the fire, which officials said began due to the building’s wiring, ABC7 reported.

The church standing today was originally built in 1892, according to its website.

“Unfortunately, it seems like it was pretty bad — the sanctuary is not in good shape and we have some beautiful Tiffany stain glass windows that are gone,” Middle Collegiate Church Minister Amanda Ashcraft said. “Horribly sad day for our congregation and for this neighborhood.”

Rev. Jacqui Lewis said in a statement that while they were “devastated and crushed” by the damage the church has sustained thus far, “no fire can stop Revolutionary Love.”

“We thank God there has been no loss of life… We pray for the first responders. We pray for our neighbors who are also affected by this fire. And we covet your prayers as we grieve.”

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